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Remember This? Collingwood's street view in the railway era

The overgrown swath of land in the photograph’s foreground appears to be a dumping ground for refuse. An abandoned wooden wheel and axel, and a variety of unidentifiable objects are visible. What else can you see?
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X969_28_1CollingwoodLookingWest
Huron Institute 144, Collingwood Museum Collection X969.28.1

Today’s Remember This photograph captures a rare view of Collingwood’s waterfront and West End buildings, stretching between Pine and Maple Streets all the way to Blue Mountain.

Unfortunately, this scene has two conflicting dates of origin. The nearly illegible black ink along the bottom edge captions the scene “Collingwood looking west 1915” while the Huron Institute Historical Catalogue records “Collingwood, looking west, 1910.”

Cutting diagonally through the scene is the Meaford Line of the Grand Trunk Railway, running parallel to First Street. Today, the Georgian Trail cuts this same line along the original route.

Evidence of Collingwood’s wooden boat building industry is represented by the “W.W” of the W. Watts & Sons Boat Builders sign that is visible along the ridgeline of the building at the photograph’s right side.

The single-storey white building on the left side of the railway tracks is the Watts’ lifeboat storage house that is presently located along Heritage Drive. At the time this photograph was taken, the Watts family had been in Collingwood for more than 50 years.

An unidentified individual is captured making his way towards the Watts’ waterfront establishment. The frame of what appears to be a discarded boat can be faintly seen behind the pathway leading to the building’s west side. Various piles of lumber are visible at the building’s entrance.

The overgrown swath of land in the photograph’s foreground appears to be a dumping ground for refuse. An abandoned wooden wheel and axel, and a variety of unidentifiable objects are visible. What else can you see?

If you have any information about the buildings in this photograph, please contact Collingwood Museum staff at mshaw@collingwood.ca.

Remember This is a weekly series of historic photographs submitted by the Collingwood Museum to CollingwoodToday.ca. These photographs were originally collected and documented by the Huron Institute in an historical catalogue entitled Huron Institute Paper and Records: Volume III. Much of Collingwood’s early history has been preserved due to the dedication and foresight of the early museum’s founders, namely its secretary-curator David Williams, upon its establishment in 1904.




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Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter, photographer and community editor.
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